Jumped in on a Shower Pan + more [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-20-2008, 03:43 PM
We noticed water in a closet and it just happened to connect to the wall where my shower was redone 6 years ago. A cursory look under the house (Pier and beam) showed drain had separated from the flange and the 3/4" plywood had a nice bow and water water everywhere. Called insurance company (another story all together) and still waiting on their denial letter, thanks for the help.
Called a plumber and he stated $3K for just the pan, $8K is the whole shower needed to be done. Yah, thanks but no thanks. Waited on another person for a quote and he no showed, no called.
So I decided I would tear out the old floor and see what gives. I saw where the drain had come unglued, a two piece oatley item. As I, armed with my trusty 5lb sledge started the demo. On the first couple of hits a black goo started up from the tiles and when I broke out a few tiles the stench was quite fragrant. As I removed the tiles found the mortar bed drenched with water and with a gravel consistent form. I bashed away all of the floor (small shower 4x3) and there is a pan liner and with all the water it has held some water for some time.
I still need to take the demo up a couple of tiles to see how high up the pan is and remove the pan to see what the damage is to the wood besides the damaged ply but I only have 3 five gallon buckets that are full now and need to be dumped.
I am tired of waiting so here we go, for a DIY adventure. I have done tile before and redid our entire kitchen so this should be doable. Now for some questions:

Why was there water above the pan? Where did the black goo come from and is that part of doing a shower pan? If there is damaged wood can I just replace it with dry, quality lumber? Thanks for the advice.

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Brian in San Diego
02-20-2008, 03:54 PM
Welcome, mrbubl! We'd really like a first name to call you and would appreciate it if you clicked on the User CP tab in the dark blue toolbar above and then clicked on edit signature.

O.K., you've got a mess on your hands but sounds like your well into the demo phase. I would suspect two possible reasons for the water above the pan (or liner)...there was no preslope installed so the water that got through the mud bed had no way to get to the drain. It's funny how many people build these things and have no concept of the laws of gravity. The second reason could be that the weep holes for the drain were clogged.

I think the black goo was a mixture of mold, soap scum and grime. It's not uncommon. Wood in a shower should be replaced with KDAT (kiln dried after treatment) lumber so that it doesn't move while it's drying out.

If it were my house I'd rip it all out and start over.


John Bridge
02-20-2008, 04:10 PM
Hi and welcome, :)

I agree with Brian. If the bottom is screwed up the rest of it can't be first rate. :)

02-20-2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks guys for your input. I suspect that the weep holes were clogged and the slope thing too but have not taken out the liner yet. Maybe tomorrow. Have to figure out what to do with the demo'd stuff.


02-20-2008, 05:23 PM
The telling thing is if the liner is flat on the floor, or is sloped (it would need a second bed of mud underneath the liner to create the slope). If you have some matching tile so you can replace the bottom couple of rows and do the curb, you might get by with leaving the walls, but they may not have been built right, either. While demolishing things, see if you have a vapor barrier that laps over the liner coming down the walls. If you don't, you should consider just going all of the way and replacing things done right.